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Shackleford Banks

Shackleford Banks, part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, is a barrier island. Barden's Inlet on the east end and Beaufort Inlet on the west end define the island. This barrier island contains well-developed dunes due to a good source of sand and wind. From the 1850's through 1899, this island was inhabited by a small whaling community called Diamond City. What might life on this barrier island have been like in the 19th century?

On the sound side under the marshes and beach there is peat. What does the presence of peat tell about the geological history of this island?

Notice the shape of this island from the aerial photographs. Can you explain why the east end of the island is quite wide while the middle is very thin?

Shackleford Banks was once attached to Cape Lookout. What forces caused the inlet to open and remain open?

Click on a thumbnail photo to view a full screen image.

Shackleford Banks Shackleford Banks Juncus Juncus

Diamond City tomb Beaufort Inlet Barden's Inlet recurved spit

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